19th century reporters carried clubs and knives to defend themselves against murderous Congressjerks

Hey, who knew? The reporter-beating crazed thug (and now Congressjerk!) Greg Gianforte is part of a long and dishonorable tradition of American Congressional reps who lashed out at the press! Read the rest

The FREQ Show: Feminist Frequency's new crowdfunded series about "today’s most pressing social issues"

For years, Anita Sarkeesian and her crew at Feminist Frequency (previously) have been striking terror into the hearts of reactionary assholes by saying calm, smart, funny, sensible and insightful things about how video games reveal our social attitudes. Read the rest

Report on media manipulation "from radicalized groups that emerged from internet subcultures"

Danah Boyd from Data & Society writes, "The report examines why the media was vulnerable to manipulation from radicalized groups that have emerged from a variety of internet subcultures. We're seeing an intentional and systematic attack on institutions and information intermediaries and most folks are unaware of the degree to which they are a pawn in others' gameplay. As a result, we are watching good intentions get twisted around and used to harm people, organizations, and democracy." Read the rest

Jimmy "Wikipedia" Wales just launched an anti-fake-news wiki: Wikitribune

Wikitribune (strapline: "Evidence-based journalism") is a newly launched project from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, conceived of as a crowd-edited, crowd-funded tonic against fake news. Read the rest

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for "higher-priority" traveler

United Airlines is already dealing with intense public backlash after a doctor was beaten, knocked out, and dragged off one of its plane for refusing to give up a seat he'd paid paid for because United wanted his seat for one of its employees. Now, the LA Times is reporting that another man, who'd purchased a full-fare first class ticket and was sitting is his seat on a United Flight, was threatened with handcuffs if he did't give up his seat for a "higher-priority" traveler.

Snip:

[Geoff Fearns] boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.

Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.

...

“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”

“I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” Fearns said. “But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.”

Read the rest

Oversold, understated and authoritarian: debullshitifying the reporting on United's "removal" of Dr David Dao

As the scandal over a United passenger who was beaten unconscious and dragged off a plane when he refused to give up his seat for a deadheading crewmember unspools, there's a predictable torrent of bullshit about how United was in the right because something something private property, and let us not forget the great American sport of victim-blaming. Read the rest

Trump's Time Magazine interview about truthfulness, minus all the lies

Time's cover-story about Donald Trump features a long interview with the president, in which he insists, over and over again, that he is not a liar. It is full of lies. Read the rest

Breitbart was a unique driver of hyper-partisan, trumpist news that shifted the 2016 election

A team of esteemed scholars including Yochai "Wealth of Networks" Benkler and Ethan Zuckerman (co-founder of Global Voices) analyzed 1.25 million media stories published between April 1, 2015 and election day, finding "a right-wing media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyper-partisan perspective to the world." Read the rest

Advanced de-faking: using public sources to trace the true age of a suspected propaganda video

Henk van Ess teaches workshops in online investigative techniques; he worked with colleagues and a team of students from Axel Springer Academie to analyze a viral news video that purported to show a discarded missile launcher that had been discovered near Cairo's international airport in 2011, but only published last month. Read the rest

Philomena Cunk on Shakespeare

You may know Charlie Brooker only through his amazing Black Mirror programs, but savvy Brookerfen are avid viewers of his Screenwipe/Newswipe shows -- acerbic, potty-mouthed media criticism shows that feature talents of Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk, a thick-skulled, oblivious, amazing deadpan comedic persona of Diane Morgan. Read the rest

Enjoy this bizarre, spacey, amateurish Breitbart interview with Sean Spicer

For eight minutes, Breitbart's Charlie Spiering interviewed Sean Spicer, looking into the wrong camera, stumbling over his words, spacing out, sitting silently for long, awkward stretches -- all with CNN running on the large flatscreens behind the President's spokesliar. Read the rest

Wikipedia policy declares the Daily Mail to be "unreliable" and not suited for citation

The notorious, Hitler-endorsing, Brexit-backing, anti-vaxx, cancer-scare-promoting, compulsively lying, photoshop failing, plagiarizing, M15-creating, hateful, lethally transphobic, Creative Commons misunderstanding, evil, teacher-demonizing, royal-wedding-lying, Melania Trump distressing, racist, grandstanding, pig-fuckery-promoting tabloid will no longer qualify as a "reliable source" for the purposes of Wikipedia citation. Read the rest

Retired California State Senator is using AI to transcribe local government hearings for search and alerts

Sam Blakeslee, a retired Republican California state senator, worked with Cal Poly students to create Digital Democracy, a service that aggregates videos of the interminable, innumerable -- and vital -- local government hearings and meetings and then use machine-learning systems to generate automated transcripts so that activists, journalists and citizens could search and analyze them. Read the rest

Amnesty reveals gigantic Mexican Twitter troll-bot mob that threatens journalists, hawks products, and hoaxes trending topics

Amnesty International has published a damning report on the organized networks of Mexican Twitter trolls and botmasters for hire who orchestrate massive harassment campaigns against investigative journalists, including death threats and misinformation/slander; they also hawk products and fake out Twitter's trending topic algorithm, operating with relative impunity -- thanks, in part, to Twitter's underinvestment in Spanish-speaking anti-harassment staff. Read the rest

White House insiders: Trump ordered Sean Spicer to lie about crowd sizes because he was "demoralized"

"Nearly a dozen" White House staffers have told Washington Post reporters that Trump was "demoralized" by press reports that showed a poor turnout for his inauguration and a much larger turnout for the Women's March the next day, and overruled his advisors and aides' advice to let it go -- instead, he ordered press secretary Sean Spicer to tell a series of easily falsifiable lies to the media that misrepresented the turnout for the inauguration. Read the rest

Excellent advice: 3 minutes of Poppy reciting "Delete Your Facebook"

Surreal Youtube star and musician That Poppy has a message for you: "Delete Your Facebook." It's timely advice, and sound. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Kellyanne Conway: lies are "alternative facts" and if the press says otherwise, there's gonna be trouble

Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer inaugurated his first day on the job by telling easily falsifiable lies about the relative sizes of the Trump inauguration crowds and those of the Obama administration. Read the rest

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